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Comment: Re:nice, now for the real fight (Score 1) 618

by Obfuscant (#49150747) Attached to: FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules

This isn't accurate. Many municipalities do indeed have ISP monopolies which are mandated by the local government.

It isn't ISP monopolies. It's cable monopolies. And a franchise agreement isn't a grant of a monopoly.

Typically they require specific regulations (such as price controls) in exchange for the local government enforcing the monopoly.

Franchise agreements can say a lot of things without granting a monopoly. They're a contract. But any city that handed out an exclusive franchise was stupid. If they did, it's the fault of the city, not the cable company.

but neither are they terribly uncommon in the US.

I've never seen one. Every time this discussion comes up I ask for a link, but I've never seen a response. I can only attribute this repeated claim of their commonality to a misunderstanding of what a franchise actually means.

Comment: Re:not fit for human consumption (Score 2) 77

by Obfuscant (#49149777) Attached to: Banned Weight-loss Drug Could Combat Liver Disease, Diabetes

Corn syrup is pretty much equivalent to sugar for our bodies.

For some value of "pretty much". HFCS both changes the mix of the simple sugars by tilting it towards fructose, but it provides them in partially-digested form. That bypasses the normal first step of splitting glucose, and creates an immediate overload of the rest of the process.

Our bodies were designed to store extra energy for use later. If the carbs digest slowly then they don't swamp the system and the storage systems aren't triggered. A slower release of glucose means there isn't a heavy demand for insulin to deal with it and less stress on the pancreas, and then lower stress on the cellular insulin receptors.

It's kinda like the difference between taking a two hour walk around the park and trying to run the distance in ten minutes. If you keep making your body run the race you will wear it out faster than if you let it stroll the same distance.

Comment: Re:Gonna see a Net Neutrality Fee (Score 1) 618

by Obfuscant (#49144085) Attached to: FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules

Your ISP is not a free market with competition.

Nor are Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon, or most of the other ISPs that this net neutrality bill is aimed at. In fact, the last ISP I mentioned, and which you recognized as not being in a "free market", is the one with the MOST competition and least regulation. It's a grown-up mom and pop dialup operation so there's no franchise fee or last-mile wired/wireless infrastructure to support. It resells DSL and supports Windows, mostly. Even so, they've found a convenient way to tack on the costs of regulatory compliance, which will almost certainly go up.

Claiming that the costs that will be created by compliance with the new neutrality regulations won't be passed on to the consumer because the free market won't allow it is kinda disingenuous when you realize that none of the players that will be subject to this cost are in a truly free, competitive market. They will all find a way to pass it on, either in higher rates or an added line-item fee.

Comment: Re:Gonna see a Net Neutrality Fee (Score 1) 618

by Obfuscant (#49143257) Attached to: FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules

Only if the market will bear it.

I'm looking at my Comcast bill. Not only have the rates gone steadily up, but there are all kinds of add-ons: Franchise fee, PEG access fee, FCC regulatory fee. They don't have to hide the costs of reglatory compliance in the rates, they simply add a fee to recover the cost. That way the customer knows why they're paying more.

And what is the customer going to do, call Time Warner to get service?

Churn is already a market fact of life. Passing the costs of compliance with new laws onto the customer will have little effect on that. Given that anyone else that the customer can call will ALSO have those fees, there is little incentive to change. (My other ISP I use regularly has its own "Regulatory Cost Recovery Fee", too.)

Comment: Re:nice, now for the real fight (Score 1) 618

by Obfuscant (#49141601) Attached to: FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules

Municipal governments grant monopoly access to cable and phone companies who double as ISPs.

Telcos got their status under other rules and long ago. Cable franchises are not government granted monopolies. The only reason there is a defacto monopoly for most cable companies is economic, not legal.

I've served on two local cable commissions and dealt with franchises. Non-exclusive means another competitor is free to enter the market, as long as they go through the same franchise process.

For a party that decries government monopolies in other sectors, they don't seem to understand that monopolies of ALL kinds are dangerous in their own ways.

That may be, but when the monopoly is defacto and not dejure there is a difference in the solution.

Comment: Re:Sounds good (Score 1) 593

by Obfuscant (#49140619) Attached to: Republicans Back Down, FCC To Enforce Net Neutrality Rules

Since you apparently don't know, the exchange actually tells you how much of your cost is getting subsidized. The amount is $0 for my fiance.

If your fiance could not afford to pay the cost of insurance before, then she was in a high-risk group where the insurance company could not afford to pay her potential claims unless she paid a higher rate. If she has insurance now that she can afford, then you know that she's being subsidized somehow.

Here's the definition of "subsidy" as used by the exchange:

Subsidies are "subsidized" by the federal government and are paid for through taxes.

So, while you think you are "paying your way", and while you aren't getting a tax credit or other federal subsidy, your fiance truly is being subsidized by all the lower risk participants in her plan. Just because the taxpayers as a whole aren't subsidizing her healthcare, a lot of other people are. That includes the guy whose rates went up because of ACA who thinks you owe him a "thank you".

Comment: Re:awesome! (Score 1) 131

We're not giving them everything they need to clone the device. It's Open Source software and respects your freedom, but the hardware is under a bit less than Open Hardware licensing. None of the terms effect Amateur Radio,

This sounds very much like Icom's way dealing with their "open" D-Star protocol. The protocol definition is open but the chip to actually implement is it closed and single-sourced.

And I hate to say, if it's open for hams, then the Chinese will have it before most hams do. Do you ever wonder why the early Chinese amateur knock-offs worked very much like existing amateur radios? And why FTDI felt compelled to release a windows driver update that bricked a lot of USB/serial adapters? (I.e., whatever part of your hardware is closed they'll just reverse engineer.) It would be a shame if you have to dedicate a large part of your income from this to paying lawyers to deal with Chinese IP infringement.

Comment: Re:awesome! (Score 1) 131

by Obfuscant (#49133859) Attached to: Developers Disclose Schematics For 50-1000 MHz Software-Defined Transceiver

We figure that it will take a lot of time for us to learn about Asian manufacturing, and we don't want you to have to wait.

Don't worry, if this becomes in any way successful, the Chinese will happily take care of all the "Asian manufacturing" without you having to do anything at all. They'll drop the price to $100 or less. That fact of life is why I wondered why you commented on preventing Chinese knock-off production, especially for an open-source/open-hardware system.

Comment: Re:Sounds pretty awesome... (Score 5, Informative) 131

by Obfuscant (#49133793) Attached to: Developers Disclose Schematics For 50-1000 MHz Software-Defined Transceiver

The first version is marketed as test equipment. Which gets us around the various type-acceptance issues.

Nobody will be able to use this in the ham bands without a ham license, or in the LMR without the appropriate licenses. At least not as a transmitter. It is a really bad idea to suggest to people that they can use a transceiver without the appropriate license. That's why we have license-free CB -- so many people got the idea they didn't need a license for a radio they bought from K-Mart that the FCC had to give up on requiring licenses.

The second version is focused on end-users rather than developers and will be type-certified for either Amateur or one of the land-mobile bands.

It should be LMR, since amateur typing won't make use on commercial frequencies legal. Since it's open source software, you will have a hard time claiming that the radio is limited to any specific bands or uses.

You talk in your slides about how the "big 3" will sell you something and they don't interoperate in digital mode. Yes, that's a problem. (And I, too, wonder what Yaesu was thinking with their C4FM radios.) Your solution is this system. So, you'll need apps that do all the existing digital modes. As soon as someone modifies one of them and starts passing their nifty new app around, you'll have the same interop problem. Even worse -- instead of three main manufacturers to keep track of, there will be potentially hundreds of amateur tinkerers creating new "not-modes" digital ops. Saying the amateur community should come up with the digital standards is like saying a herd of cats should guard the catnip. Herding cats, herding amateurs ...

You're going to need a master contacts-app that keeps track of who you talk to and what app you need and even then you'll need to know which app they're using at the moment.

Don't get me wrong. It's an interesting piece of hardware. It's just the idea of saying "without a license" that needs to be controlled. Handing a transceiver to someone that can cover 50-1000 MHz (even at just 2W) and suggesting that they don't need a license to use it, well, I dunno. I think that's dangerous for the future of ham radio, not beneficial.

By the way, you say that "the AMBE 1000 IP will be unenforceable after Hamvention" (or something like that. ) What does Hamvention have to do with it?

Comment: Re:security enhancements? (Score 1) 146

by Obfuscant (#49133541) Attached to: Firefox 36 Arrives With Full HTTP/2 Support, New Design For Android Tablets

as you've obviously got an axe to grind

My only axe to grind is with someone who treats me like an idiot because I don't think I should have to write an add-on to do something that used to be a simple checkbox menu item. Someone who thinks THEIR solution to a problem they've never come across is so much better.

The JS toggle in settings is global. If you have multiple tabs open, it gets turned off for ALL tabs, not just the malicious page.

Do'h. I know that. So what? Once you get rid of the malicious page that you can't get away from while js is active, TURN JAVASCRIPT BACK ON. It really is that simple. Three simple steps: 1. Turn js off. 2. Escape the malicious page. 3. Turn js on.

If some other webpage cannot survive with javascript off for ten seconds and you may lose so much precious data because of it, just imagine how much precious data you'll lose when you have to kill the browser and reload the page from scratch.

But then on the other side, loading a banking page in the same browser as a potentially untrusted page at the same time isn't really a good idea in the first place.

You make it sound like I'm saying I go visit my bank and then decide to go look at malicious websites just for fun. That demonstrates a complete lack of comprehension of the problem and is patently insulting to boot. You're the one who brought up loading banking pages after a malicious web page gets control. I told you how you solve the incredibly difficult problem of having a banking page that needs js -- by simply not disabling js when you go there.

This global toggle wasn't an issue back when it existed, as web pages would load their JS on load, and that would be that -- so you'd just turn JS off, reload the malicious page,

Now I know you're trolling. Why the fuck would I reload a malicious page once I've managed to get away from it? The goal is NOT to be there at all, not to see what it looks like without javascript enabled. But then, you've said you've never been on one, so you don't know.

And my copy of firefox takes as long to close and re-open like this as navigating to the Prefs/Options and toggling JS would take.

I understand. You got yours. A feature THAT YOU WOULDN'T USE ANYWAY cannot be tolerated because ... I don't know, because you might lose control of your own mouse and wind up using it and not know why all your favorite websites no longer work like you want them to? You think that it should be impossible to have a simple option to do something simple and you want to force others to create an add-on. Your machine and network connection is fast enough to reload twenty or thirty tabs so killing the browser and hoping you uncheck the right miscreant if/when you get offered the chance is the only option anyone needs.

And I get that you think other people are too stupid to be able to manage a simple checkbox to turn javascript off. You make that clear when you talk about deliberately going to malicious websites while I'm doing my banking ("But then on the other side, loading a banking page in the same browser as a potentially untrusted page at the same time isn't really a good idea in the first place.") or how I want to reload the malicious web page I've just managed to get away from. Stop treating other people like idiots because they want an option PUT BACK (not created, just put back) that you don't intend on using.

Every reason you have for not allowing a simple option to disable javascript boils down to two: it might break some web page if javascript isn't on, and nobody could be smart enough to turn javascript back on when going to such a page. To the first, boo friken hoo, and to the second, <expletive deleted>.

Comment: Re:Sounds pretty awesome... (Score 1) 131

by Obfuscant (#49133253) Attached to: Developers Disclose Schematics For 50-1000 MHz Software-Defined Transceiver

It would be possible to use it in a short-range transmit mode or as a receiver without a ham license.

So this will be low enough powered to be certificated as a Part 15 device? And it won't have trivially modifiable software to violate the Part 15 standards so that everyone and their brother can have a cheap, unlicensed high-power (>Part 15 limits) source of interference to all the other licensed users?

Comment: Re:Sounds good (Score 1) 593

by Obfuscant (#49132417) Attached to: Republicans Back Down, FCC To Enforce Net Neutrality Rules

In the old days of Title II regulation, the companies were forced to lease their lines to competitors for decent rates. That's why we had lots of local mom and pop ISPs...

I worked with a local ISP and its existence had nothing to do with the telco leasing their lines. They bought phone service from the local phone company just like any other company (and I spent hours punching down lines from the demarc to the modem banks), and they got their T1 lines out the same way. The telcos sold service to ISPs and didn't have to be forced to do it. They made a good bit of money from it.

That dialup line you think was leased was no different than any standard phone line, and you'd look like a fool if you claimed that you had to lease a line to call your grandmother on her birthday -- but it was the same wire and same service.

Yes, after ISPs exploded the telcos tried to market "data lines" as something special, but that was their way of trying to recoup the costs of needing more CO equipment to deal with the new statistics of phone calls. Instead of a ten minute voice call, they were seeing a lot of hours long data calls that were using the switching system and they couldn't support the new load using the old statistically-determined amount of equipment.

Comment: Re:Sounds good (Score 1) 593

by Obfuscant (#49132315) Attached to: Republicans Back Down, FCC To Enforce Net Neutrality Rules

Her insurance isn't getting subsidized, it's the mere fact that she was able to get insured at all that rocks.

Yes, the fact that she couldn't get it to start with means she's in a high-risk group, and now that she's lumped in with all the lower risk insured they are, indeed, subsidizing her insurance.

That's how insurance works. Low risk participants ALWAYS subsidize the higher risk participants. That's why you used to be able to get lower priced insurance if you were a low risk and the plans could exclude high risk members.

And it's more likely she could get insurance, except she couldn't afford it. That cost is now being paid by other people. "A rising tide lifts all boats" applies to the risk levels/pricing of insurance pools as well as the economy.

Can you drop the personal attacks and deal with the facts?

Comment: Re:Oh, please. (Score 1) 593

by Obfuscant (#49132195) Attached to: Republicans Back Down, FCC To Enforce Net Neutrality Rules

Look. The only reason you wouldn't be able to keep your insurance that the ACA could even *vaguely* be named responsible for is if it was so bad that it didn't meet the minimum standards of the ACA,

You're making the rash assumption that "the minimum standards of the ACA" defines what is "good" and anything else is "bad". You're assuming that the government is better at deciding what coverage you need than you are. Maybe for YOU they are, but your limitations aren't binding on others.

The honest way of saying it is that many people couldn't keep their desired coverage because the government decided it wasn't good enough for them. Not because it actually wasn't good enough, but because the government decided. That makes the promise "if you like your plan you can keep it" patently false and a blatant lie. It's the government deciding they didn't like your plan and you didn't get a choice in the matter.

As for your doctor, the only ACA-related reason you might not be able to keep your doctor is if they don't bother to register with the pool you chose --

Uhh, no, if they aren't in the group of providers that your new insurance company accepts, you don't get to see him anymore. Well, you can, but you pay out of pocket full price. Most people would call that "not being able to see him".

Further, even if you did get to keep your doctor, your waiting time to see him is undoubtedly going to be much longer. I used to be able to schedule my regular three month update visit every three months. Now it's four months if I'm lucky, sometimes five. I got a referral by email to a physical therapist for a level 11 back pain issue and it was three weeks before I got to see her for the first time.

And if they fail to register, you can blame your doctor.

My doctor doesn't decide what providers are authorized under my insurance, the insurance company does. It takes a lot more than a doctor asking "pretty please make my practice part of your plan" to get it done.

Are there conditions where you couldn't keep your doctor? Sure. For instance, if your doctor got run over by a bus. Or retired. Or committed suicide. Or moved to Botswana. Or switched jobs.

Or isn't part of the preferred provider network your new insurance company deals with.

As with the previous poster, my circumstances were enormously improved by the ACA.

I'm glad it worked out for you. But to ignore the large number of people who it didn't work out for and claim that the system is working is pretty selfish. To use your personal situation as proof that Obama didn't lie about ACA issues is just ridiculous. His promise wasn't just to you, it was to EVERYONE. Even those who didn't get to keep their plans or their doctors.

It's nice that you've never had to deal with changing a doctor due to insurance change, but I have. And it was obvious that the promise of being able to keep doctors and plans once the government got in the businesses of deciding what was good enough for you was a lie. Pretending it wasn't a lie because you got what you wanted is dishonest.

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